All I thought I had was a pulled calf muscle…could have died…

My primary doctor at UCLA is Dr. Ryan Aronin in the 100 bldg at the medical plaza.  He is young, thorough, effcient, and wise.  I have Atrial Fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat.  It puts me at risk for blood clotting, which could cause a stroke, heart attack, or death.  I also have low Testosterone levels, for which I self inject prescribed low doses of testosterone.  But that thickens my blood, and increases the risk of a blood clot.  Otherwise, at 69 years of age, I’m very fit and healthy, so (since I hate taking pharmaceuticals) I was only required to be on baby aspirins to thin my blood.

But the low doses of testosterone weren’t doing any good.  So at another doctors suggestion, I increased the once a week testosterone dosage.  Soon after that I developed pain in my calf.  I assumed the pain was a result of pulling a muscle in my calf at the gym.  When it didn’t get any better, I went to see Dr. Aronin.  He ordered some blood tests, one of which was a D-dimer.  It shows how likely your blood is to form a clot.  Anything over 500 on the scale is risky.

On a Sunday afternoon, I got a call from Dr. Aronin.  He told me to get to the emergency room immediately to have an ultra sound done on my femoral artery to see if there was a clot there. My D-dimer blood lab had come back extremely high at nearly 3300 (over 6 times higher than it should be).  Turns out, I did have a clot. Dr. Aronin got me in to see a hemotologist the next morning.  I was put on blood thinners immediately.

Obviously Dr. Ryan is concerned and conscientious enough to check his patients’ blood labs from home on a weekend!  He called me on a Sunday.  A SUNDAY!  Never heard of an “office hours” doctor doing that.  He certainly saved me from a stroke or heart attack, or worse, when all I thought I had was a pulled calf muscle...  Thank you Dr. Aronin!  More doctors like you please.

The following story has been written by a UCLA Health patient or his/her family member and has been published as submitted. In some cases, the patient’s name has been changed to protect patient privacy.

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